Handling Feelings When Mom Travels

For writer mamas, as for moms who travel for work, the leaving/coming home transition can be an emotional one. I’ve always been sensitive to my daughter’s need for smooth transitions. So we always talk things through well in advance of the actual event. When she was younger this was as simple as saying, “Samantha, first we’re going to put our coats on, then we’re going to get in the car, then we’re going to go shopping at the store.” Just the rhythm of the plan seemed to soothe her. Whereas if I had just suddenly said, “Let’s go.” She would resist and become easily upset.

The same parenting strategy works, I’ve found for just about anything with my daughter. It’s always best to keep her in the loop in an age-appropriate way.

So I wasn’t surprised last night at bedtime when my daughter began to cry because I would be leaving for two nights. She’d seemed agitated all evening, the same way our cats get agitated when all the suitcases come out.

She knew it wasn’t just the hypothetical “mommy is going on a trip” any longer but time for the actual departure. So I felt good about letting her cry. I didn’t try to stop her or chastise her not to cry. I remember when my mom went away when I was kid. I didn’t like it at all!

Fact is when moms leave home, it’s never “easy.” There’s all the planning and preparation to make sure everyone’s needs will be met and then there’s trying to take care of and prepare yourself. Just like everything else, I just do the best I can.

When Jason and Samantha dropped me off today, there were no tears. Just lots of hugs and kisses. Of course, I’ll miss them.

I’m jut so grateful that we’re all on the same page, even if tears are part of the picture.

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